I’m a teacher. I’m in this job to help my students build confidence in who they are. Even before the spread of COVID-19 the world was a scary, uncertain place.
I don’t want to to abandon my post. Kids need stability, and they need their role models now more than ever.
But, school is meant to be a safe space and it’s simply not safe right now.
Other countries have closed their classrooms. We will probably close ours at some point, that doesn’t mean we will stop working.
A number of schools that have shut have stayed open for students whose parents work in the medical field or in childcare and other essential fields.
Talking with staff at my school, we actually think we’d be more able to cater for and extend our more academic kids if we were working primarily online. If we collaborate on lesson content and resources for those students who are unlikely to engage in whatever we post, then it frees up our time to read and provide feedback on whatever our students send through.
That said, I’d love to be inundated with questions and work samples from every kid in every class. It would take a lot of support from the people they have at home, and that would be a good thing too.
Teachers often get denigrated for being nothing more than glorified babysitters who are only in it for the holidays. We are constantly reminded of the saying that “those who can, do; and those who can’t, teach”.
These comments ensure that kids come in to school with negative opinions before they’ve even met their teacher – teachers who are currently putting their own health and the health of their families at risk so that everyone else can still go to work.
I understand the hesitation to make a decision on closing schools, the knock-on effect is huge.
What I’d like to see is school become optional for the foreseeable future. Parents can do what they think is best for their children, and schools can modify their approach to suit the needs of those who attend. Trust us, we can do it. We’re used to being flexible.